Photographic chain Jessops has become the first high-profile retail casualty of 2013 - putting 2,000 jobs at risk across the UK.
The group, which has a branch in Northampton and its headquarters in Leicester, has suffered from online competition and the boom in camera phones in recent years, hitting demand for digital cameras.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which was appointed as administrator after funding talks with its lender and suppliers collapsed, said store closures at the specialist nationwide camera retailer were “inevitable”.
PwC said Jessops’ profits over Christmas were worse than planned and it had also seen a “significant decline” in its core marketplace in 2012.
PwC said the factors had a “consequent impact on its funding needs”.
It is believed further pressure was put on the chain after suppliers Nikon and Canon tightened credit limits.
Joint administrator Rob Hunt said on Thursday: “Our most pressing task is to review the company’s financial position and hold discussions with its principal stakeholders to see if the business can be preserved. Trading in the stores is hoped to continue today but is critically dependent on these ongoing discussions. However, in the current economic climate it is inevitable that there will be store closures.”
PwC added that Jessops was not in a position to honour customer vouchers at present, and it would also not accept returned goods.
Retail analyst Nick Bubb said that with competition from smart phones and online retailers, Jessops’ administration was “probably inevitable”.